23 January 2015
Please click here to view this e-mail in your browser
Smart radio on your wrist – platform innovation from the UK’s Radioplayer

This week, the egtabite explores radio’s emergence onto the latest smart device that is currently changing the way people access and interact with content – the Android Wear-enabled smart-watch. Making radio listening on the move even easier, the UK’s Radioplayer has added this new platform to its existing desktop player and mobile apps, ensuring radio continues to deliver a cutting edge experience wherever and however people want to tune in to their favourite stations.

Thanks to the greater accessibility of their screens compared to pocket-carried smartphones and their popular use as fitness aids, smart-watches also present a range of interesting possibilities to deliver interactive advertising and branded content to listeners in a timely and relevant context.

Radioplayer: from mobile to wearable

The Radioplayer app developed for smart-watches, which was launched in time for Christmas 2014, works in tandem with Android smartphones and gives the user immediate access to key features of Radioplayer on their wrist. As the screens are small, the developers focused on glance-ability – what’s playing right now – and simple station switching. The smart-watch app does not add new features; rather it strips the platform down to its core functionalities, in a design philosophy that holds true for audio’s presence in connected car interfaces.

The team developing the app focused on simplicity – a station logo, clear text showing the station name and what’s playing. Simple sideways swipes change from screen to screen. The app can be launched using a voice command, and listeners can easily find stations they have saved as Favourites or browse the Recommended list.

Michael Hill, Managing Director of Radioplayer says: “We’ve built radio into computers, phones, tablets, and even cars – but we wanted to see how it might look on a watch. These are hot technology gifts this Christmas, so we worked with the team at All In Media , to get it ready in time.”

Watch a short clip of the Radioplayer smart-watch app in action below:

The app will be extended to Apple Watch when it is launched in 2015. Dozens of Android Wear devices are currently available from brands such as Motorola, Samsung and LG.

Radioplayer – bringing the whole UK radio industry together in a single online destination

Launched in 2011 and currently serving 6-7 million unique users, the Radioplayer has undoubtedly broken ground in delivering a great experience for radio listeners, as well as a flexible platform for integrated advertising campaigns. This partnership between the BBC and commercial radio is the first to present the whole range of UK stations – simulcast and digital stations – together through a single interface. Aside from easy access to live radio content, the Radioplayer allows listeners to catch up on programmes they may have missed and to discover new stations through recommendations.

The Radioplayer features a flexible design that allows broadcasters to show song or programme information, display static or interactive advertising banners synched to content and other over-the-top services. Some broadcasters, such as Absolute Radio, use the player to log online listeners into their streams, offering fewer ads and more music in exchange for listeners’ data.

Future possibilities for enhanced advertising

Whilst the focus for this early version of the app was all about getting the listener experience right from the start, and there is therefore currently no display advertising on the watch itself, there are interesting opportunities for future innovations. As the watch is much more accessible than the phone (which is normally out of sight in a pocket), synchronised visuals could be pushed to the screen at the same time as on-air promotions, for instance inviting the user to check their screen and tap to enter a competition.

Additionally, as smart-watches are expected to be widely used for fitness-tracking, extra radio stations or on-demand branded/sponsored mixtapes could be designed specifically for running or gym sessions.

Why this matters for egta members?

The Radioplayer project demonstrates what can be achieved by an industry working together to deliver innovations that not only push the boundaries of the radio experience, but that also match the evolving behaviour of listeners closely and with contextually appropriate solutions. Radio’s competitors are quick to exploit the benefits of the connected environment, and the Android Wear smart-watch app for Radioplayer is a great response to new behaviours and emerging technologies.

Target: Radio
Background info

Please click on the links below to access the relevant documents:

» Radioplayer website (please click here)

Download in PDF

Please click here download the PDF version

Next events

» egta Market Intelligence Meeting
29 January (THU), Vienna
Programme RADIO
Programme TV


Click on the button to see the full calendar of events 2015